105 articles from FRIDAY 2.12.2022

'Virtual pillars' separate and sort blood-based nanoparticles

Engineers at Duke University have developed a device that uses sound waves to separate and sort the tiniest particles found in blood in a matter of minutes. The technology is based on a concept called "virtual pillars" and could be a boon to both scientific research and medical applications.

Kibble-Zurek mechanism for nonequilibrium phase transitions

The Kibble-Zurek (KZ) mechanism, confirmed experimentally only for equilibrium phase transitions, is also applicable for non-equilibrium phase transitions, as is now shown in a landmark study. The KZ mechanism is characterized by the formation of topological defects during continuous phase transition away from the adiabatic limit. This breakthrough finding could open the doors to investigation of...

Health benefits of using wind energy instead of fossil fuels

A new study finds that the health benefits associated with wind power could more than quadruple if operators turned down output from the most polluting fossil-fuel-based power plants when energy from wind is available. However, compared to wealthier communities, disadvantaged communities would reap a smaller share of these benefits.

Study indicates SARS-CoV-2 variants are still transmissible between species

Scientists believe bats first transmitted SARS-CoV-2 to humans in December 2019, and while the virus has since evolved into several variants such as delta and omicron, a new study indicates the virus is still highly transmissible between mammals. Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) developed computer simulations that show the coronaviruses use their spike proteins to attach...

Is that turtle legal? Fighting wildlife trafficking with stable isotopes

Wildlife trafficking is a well-known threat to biodiversity, with many species imperiled by poachers working in the illegal pet trade. Worse still, when traffickers are caught in the act, they often evade prosecution through animal "laundering"—erroneously claiming that the confiscated wildlife was bred in captivity.

Fossil found in drawer is found to be oldest known modern lizard ancestor

Specimen collected in 1950s pushes back origins of squamates by at least 34m yearsThe fossilised remains of a small, sharp-toothed lizard, left in a cupboard for more than half a century, have pushed back the origins of the group that encompasses modern snakes and lizards by tens of millions of years.The specimen was collected in the 1950s from a quarry near Tortworth in Gloucestershire by the...

SpaceX Plans to Beat NASA in Launching the Biggest Rocket Ever

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) moon rocket officially became the most powerful rocket ever flown when it lifted off in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, putting out a prodigious 4 million kg (8.8 million lbs) of thrust. That comfortably beat the old record holder—the Apollo era’s Saturn 5, with its 3.4 million kg (7.5 million lbs) of thrust. But the SLS won’t hold...

Researchers boost accuracy of home-based continuous glucose monitoring

Home-based continuous glucose monitoring for diabetics up to now has had to trade ease of use, low cost, and portability for a somewhat lower sensitivity—and thus accuracy—compared to similar systems in clinics or hospitals. A team of researchers has now developed a biosensor for such monitors that involves "zero-dimensional" quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanospheres (AuNSs), and no longer has...

Broken symmetries provide opportunities for thermal emission management

Radiative heat transfer is a ubiquitous physical process in our universe. Any object with a temperature above absolute zero exchanges thermal energy with the environment. In physics, thermal emission originates from electromagnetic radiation induced by the thermal motion of charged particles inside materials.